Our 2021 garden: new sprouts, and… I must not compare!

While the girls were doing the evening watering, I headed out to check some of the beds they hadn’t got to, yet. I thought I saw something this morning, and I wanted to check.

I did see something – and by evening, I saw more somethings!

The radishes are starting to sprout already!

Here’s hoping these ones don’t disappear, like the ones we interplanted with our sweet corn!

I have been keeping a close eye on our summer squash, too.

This sunburst squash is of a size I would normally pick, but there is only one this big, so I will leave it until there are others to pick with it. We also have more of the green zucchini that is almost big enough to pick.

While watering the beans, my daughter noticed this…

Some of the purple bean flowers are starting to open! When I checked, some of the green ones were also starting to open, but they’re harder to see than the purple beans, with their amazing, bright colours.

While I’m excited to see them starting to bloom, I have to remind myself not to compare. I’m on several gardening groups for cold climate gardening, zone 3 gardening, and local gardeners. Today, someone posted pictures of their huge pea plants, and the basket of peas they had picked, just today.

These are our peas.

The purple peas are doing a bit better than the green peas. They are flowering and growing pods. But they are also struggling. They started out doing well, but have basically just stopped growing. By this time, they should be well up the trellises, much larger, and much closer to having pods that can be harvested.

It’s similar with the bush beans. The purple ones are doing better than the others, as they have from pretty much the start, but they are all a lot smaller than they should be. The sweet corn is also a lot smaller than I am seeing in other people’s gardens, which have corn the size of our purple corn, that was started much earlier and transplanted, or the Dorinny corn, which was seeded before last frost. Even the renter’s corn in our field is about waist high now.

I have to admit; seeing how well other people’s gardens are doing, in spite of the heat we’ve been getting right now, is sometimes rather discouraging. These are gardens in the same climate zone we are in, and many of them planted even later than we did.

I have to remind myself that these are completely different gardens, many of them established years ago. Even the new gardens are in very different situations. There are many reasons why our peas, corn and beans are looking stunted. The heat, certainly. Perhaps we’re not watering them as much as they need under current conditions. Maybe it’s because their roots have made their way through the thin layer of nutrient rich soil and into the nutrient poor soil, below, and even our fertilizing them isn’t enough to make up for it. Maybe it’s all the weeds and plants that were there before we planted. We don’t have access to good compost, we ran out of mulch and can’t get more, etc. The critter damage adds to the problems, but that’s a different issue altogether.

Plus, of course, we’re gardening in temporary locations. Even the beds that are where we will be gardening permanently will have high raised beds built in them, so the current beds are going to be completely redone.

From the start, as we planned where to plant different things, we knew that if we got anything at all from the farthest beds in particular, that would be a win.

But, my goodness, it sure would be nice to have a big basket of freshly picked peas right now! 😀

The Re-Farmer

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